In this study, cotton stalk (CS), cotton waste (CW) and cotton dust (CD) was used as sorbents to remove methylene blue (MB) from aqueous solution by batch sorption technique. Effects of initial dye concentration, solution pH, solution temperature and sorbent dose on sorption were studied. It was seen that the removal of methylene blue increased with increasing initial dye concentration (from 25 to 100 mg/l), solution pH (from 5 to 10), solution temperature (from 20 to 50 degrees C) and sorbent dose (from 0.25 to 1.50 g/50 ml). The maximum dye removal was reached at 90 min. Sorption isotherms were analyzed by Langmuir and Freundlich models at different temperatures of 20, 30, 40 and 50 degrees C, and the results were discussed in detail. Moreover, the thermodynamics of sorption were also studied. It was found that the values of standard free energy (Delta G degrees) were positive for cotton stalk and negative for cotton waste and cotton dust. The values of standard enthalpy (Delta H degrees) and entropy (Delta S degrees) were found to be positive, and the obtained results were interpreted in detail. The results of this study showed that cotton stalk, cotton waste and cotton dust could be employed as effective and low-cost materials for the removal of dyes from aqueous solution. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.